- Written by Ralph Weber
Several SOFH members have been working on the N-11 replica in recent months. We have made substantial progress. We have the tail skid ready to glue to a strut, both are in the hanger, and we need to make a tail skid mount that will mate with the fuselage. We will figure this out come the weekend. Rick Johnston will be making the landing
gear attach brackets and he will also make the mounting straps for the bulkheads.
Once the fuselage is structurally complete we will need to build the cabane struts and start the wing. We have the wood for a good portion of ribs. We will buy more wood for the remainder when needed. We will need some wood for the spars and struts. Rick, the foreman, believes we could have the aircraft ready for wing assembly before the month of November is over.
As always, if you would like to help, please contact any SOFH member or call Ralph Weber our President at 256-520-7133. We are always looking for new members to lighten the load of a pretty ambitious build schedule for the N-11 and the flyable N-17.
- Written by Ralph Weber
The Nieuport 11 project Update
By Rick Johnston
SOFH Operations Director
SOFH members have another project also being built in parallel to the Nieuport 17. A 7/8ths scale Nieuport 11 World War I fighter. It is being built as a static-display-only airplane. This project has not officially started and scheduled yet. Although some plans for wooden structure wings have been designed to attach to the aluminum fuselage already completed. Depending on the number of individuals that will be involved and number of hours they can commit, it could be completed about the same time as the Nieuport 17 starts flying. The Nieuport 11 will be loaned to a museum or other venue like an airport for indoor display. That project has a nearly completed fuselage, tail and landing gear structure. Likely the schedule will be Saturday mornings from 0800 to 1200 hours twice monthly. 1st and 3rd Saturdays.
7/8s scale Nieuport 11 with our O-1/L-19E Bird Dog in the background.
More people are needed for both projects and additional activities planning for the future by the museum. Additional replicas may be built depending on the results with this project and the 7/8ths scale replica. To continue our operation we need more members, more capital and more people willing to work a few hours per week on the projects. Our current members include aerodynamic engineers, engineers, pilots, instructor pilots, A&P mechanics, and other professionals. Members who are pilots can have the opportunity to fly our aircraft too.
Consider volunteering for the Saving our Flying Heritage Museum, a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit organization. We would really love to have you as a member and you will have a lot of fun! Donations are also excepted gratefully and are tax deductible. Would you like more information on how to donate, volunteer and become a member.
- Written by Ralph Weber
"What is that?"
by Rick Johnston,
Director of Operations, SOFH Museum.
If you were walking past a hanger at Moontown and saw what was in this particular one you might ask! What is that?!
In a private hanger tucked away at Moontown Airport is a bit of a secret project. Few know of its existence and fewer have seen what is going on. In the hanger amongst the two Yak 52M warbirds, a Citabria Decathlon, and an Experimental called Lionheart there is a table full of metal parts and what looks a bit like a skeleton of a biplane coming together. In fact that is what it is, a replica of a French Fighter airplane from World War I. Granted it is being built with aluminum structure not wood, and it is being built by hand, a one off and not manufactured. The airplane is a project of the Saving our Flying Heritage Museum group.
This is an experimental full-size flying airplane with a single seat for the pilot and little else but power and controls. The purpose of the aircraft is to educate the public by touring the fly in circuit in the area of middle Tennessee, and North Alabama and possibly some other close venues. The airplane will be flown into these events for the public to view them and get an idea of how primitive airplanes were one hundred years ago.
Gordy Seuell owns the hanger and keeps things moving for the team, while Rob King, David Pemberton, and Paul Messicks work on the airplane Monday and Thursdays each week for a couple of hours at a time. The status of the airplane is that the structure is about 75% completed. The wing spars are being fixed to the fuselage. Next, they will be installing some of the rigging and aluminum tubular ribs. I asked Gordy when he thinks they will be finished and he said about 9 months while Rob leans more toward a year before the first flight.
The airplane is a kit from Aerodrome Airplanes out of Missouri. The engine is a spare engine that Gordy Sewell donated. Although not the same rotary type originally in these fighters it develops the power required to fly very well.
The team building the airplane can always use more help and more resources.